In his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell “translates” Ecclesiastes 9:11 into “modern English of the worst sort”:
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
Orwell’s English instructor at St. Cyprian’s School, Cicely Vaughan Wilkes, had translated the parable of the Good Samaritan into “oratory and journalese” to illustrate the principles of good writing. Orwell’s companion Walter John Christie wrote that Wilkes had emphasized “simplicity, honesty, and avoidance of verbiage” — and pointed out that these qualities can be seen in Orwell’s writing.